Sharpie liquid pencil

IMG_06821-576x634.jpg Sharpie is to sell a 'liquid pencil,' a pen with erasable ink made from graphite that only becomes permanent after three days' exposure to the air. In the meantime, it may be rubbed out with a standard eraser. It'll hit stores this fall. Introducing The NEW Sharpie LIQUID PENCIL [Sharpie via Wired] Update: WordPressfail. Updated link to point to google cache.


  1. But does it work in zero gravity?

    You know what else is permanent, like a Sharpie, but still erasable? A pencil. Just don’t erase it.

  2. Nothing like re-inventing the wheel. I wonder how recyclable the casing is? At least the wood for the traditional pencil is a renewable resource. Cheaper, too.

  3. My handwriting is illegible, I get pen all over my hands like a 3 year old and I avoid handwriting so much that I bought a dedicated word processor (Tandy WP2), but I too am strangely excited about this…

  4. How about inventing something we really need;

    An overpriced pencil that we CAN’T lose after using it less than a week.

    1. I don’t know if “can erase it any time you want” is an improvement. Things that can be erased can generally also be smudged. When I used to sketch in pencil, the early sketches in my sketchbook would turn into smeary clouds of graphite by the time I’d finished the last few pages.

      The idea of a writing tool that’s correctable for a short while, then sets and becomes permanent to prevent smudging, would have excited the heck out of me 20 years ago. (Since then, I’ve just moved on to doing most of my sketching in pen and/or marker.)

      1. I remember in high school nearly crying after finding my sketched portrait of Jacques-Louis David had become almost unrecognizably smudged. Sigh. Maybe I LOVED pen-and-ink drawings for that reason.

        Anyway, I just found that having to choose between pencil and pen made me more decisive and cautious when it came to using pen. The single application I can think of this erasable pen (assuming it writes just as well as they’re saying and smudges as little as the fastest drying pen ink) is filling out applications. Doing “practise” runs of, say, tax returns and legal forms has always been tedious.

      2. Specifically, the nice thing about the Frixion is that after about 10 seconds, it’s smudge-proof. The only way to erase it is by heating the ink, and when it erases, it erases completely, without leaving a trace. There is nothing else like it on the market.

  5. Oh, want! Inky sketches you can fix mistakes in gives me mucho excited stomach feeling (or that may be cold chili for dinner )

  6. This is one of those products that is actually really cool.

    Like, if I could design a writing implement’s behavior, this is how I would want it to behave.

    Now we’ll just have to see how it works in practice. Seeing as I write left handed, I still remember the EraserMate stains on my hand and the smeared blue papers. The crumbly ink was a whole other story.

  7. I was fascinated by liquid graphite pencils when I first found out about them. This one adds becoming permanent after three days. I’m sure it’s probably not suitable, but it makes me want to use something like it for circuit prototyping.

  8. Pentech’s Liquaphite pens have been out since … what? 2006? 2007? I picked up a three-pack of the original wood-cased “pencils” and had a reasonably goos experience with those. For a right-hander.

  9. Sounds a bit like the papermate that allows you to erase what you’ve written.

    Introduced in 1979.

  10. I hate to not snark it up- but I’m excited about this as well. This seems like one of those consumer products that meets a need, is generally affordable, and seems obvious in rhetrospect despite not getting built. Good job sharpie designers!

  11. Actually…

    The Fifties called, they want their idea back.

    Parker Pen had made the “liquid lead” pencils. These had refills that looked sorta like their “Jotter” style refill, but not enough that they were interchangeable. They discontinued the refills. Often, the pencil can be found, but, without a refill, it’s a moot point.*

    More info:

    *These pencils suffer from the same problem ballpoints and rollerballs do: in effect, they are fancy holders for a refill, as opposed to actually having the writing surface (like in the case of a fountain pen).

    1. I know – I had to take that day off from work just to run through a field of flowers!! Super Sharpie!!!

  12. Well I’m curious about them. Are they easy to erase (unlike current erasable pens) and are they really permanent after the set for three days?

    If so I’m excited! Especially if the writing quality has an inky flow more like a fountain pen instead of that horrible scratchy pencil quality.

  13. I’d like to know if they produce archival-quality marks like a regular pencil. We still have great-quality graphite sketches from the renaissance but the ink from most modern pens fades pretty badly within a couple of decades (if not sooner).

    Too bad we’ll probably have to wait for several years to find out.

  14. I thought we used pencils because we liked how they felt on the page? If it’s a pen that turns to pencil when you write and you really need that function, then really, a pencil is fine.

  15. Not a bad idea. I always preferred using pencils to pens, specifically because I found that using a pen meant that I would be scratching out a lot, and it was must much easier to erase stuff. I don’t see why the pen so much more popular. I use a mechanical pencil, and mostly only use a pen when I’m signing something, or filling out a cheque. An erasable pen that didn’t suck would be nice. I’ve seen those EraserMate that others talk about, and they are worse in almost every way (not truly erasable, ink smears like crazy)

  16. “Hits stores in fall” has already happened: I just picked up a couple of these last week at Office Max, shopping for the Kuru Toga pencil Bill Barol was extolling last week, which, it turns out, they didn’t have on hand. I bought a few of Bic’s less attractively designed version of the same automatically advancing contraption, and so far, I like them. The Sharpie pencil, on the other hand, captured my imagination while still in the packaging, but ended up writing like any old dull ball point pen. Except, of course, it erases. And I guess that’s neat. The box said permanent after one day. I haven’t been conducting any tests, because, really, it’s not the most pleasant thing to write with. I remember erasable ball points back in the 80s, and I’m willing to grant that they’ve prob’ly advanced ink tech in the years since. So, maybe these are better. They do erase pretty cleanly… I guess my beef is that I use a pencil more as a drawing tool, than as a writing tool, and this doesn’t fit the bill. And when I’m writing, I prefer a finer, crisper, darker line from my pen.

    1. At least once a month I have to say this:

      the worst thing about the erasable pens in the 80s was being left-handed. This meant you dragged your hand through ink that never quite tried. The edge of my hand would be blue by day’s end.

      1. the worst thing about the erasable pens in the 80s was being left-handed. This meant you dragged your hand through ink that never quite tried. The edge of my hand would be blue by day’s end.

        Well, you could always do what Leonardo d V did: write backwards.

        I’m a right-hander, so I never really got anything out of it (except to amuse my kids when I grew up and started having them), but when I was a kid I taught myself to write backwards. It’s really not too hard, or at least I didn’t find it so.

      2. Having just played with the “liquid pencil” some more now, in the wake of this post, I think you’ll find it echoes your Erasermate experience: it seems to erase almost as easily, rubbing with my finger, as with the eraser on the pen, leaving a small gummy smudge on my fingertip. I tried sketching, and some gradations, but the ink catches a little bit on itself and leaves a few small globs among the cross-hatching.

        Having drawn and scribbled all across a sheet of graph paper, and then erased with both finger and eraser, the page is still a little gray in spots, but mostly erased. The impression of the pen, however, leaves the ghost of every stroke evident.

        So, I dunno. That might be handy for some purposes, and maybe choosing a different paper would yield different results. For me, well, if I can’t find a pen around, now I’ve got this in the jar. If I need a pencil, I’ll keep looking.

  17. Being an avid pencil user, this definitely caught my interest… But it seems, based on @daemonsquire’s review that it is just a slight advance on the Erasermate. And those things were excruciatingly LAME.

    I guess there’s still really not much better than a solid #2HB and a good sharpener. Although I am intrigued by the aforementioned Kuru Toga.

  18. If it’s permanent after 3 days, how is it like a pencil?

    Pencil is erasable after a bajillion years.

    How about semi-temporary ink?

  19. When I first read this, I thought “Great, now people can create contracts and erase it letter.”

  20. The Frixion is awesome, so I’d have high hopes for this pen as well. A real pen that can be erased completely is a thing that feels very right, somehow. (No, an Erasermate doesn’t count — those are/were complete crap.)

    This one will have the obvious advantage that it can be used to write checks.

  21. Erases like a pencil but becomes permanent after 3 days?

    Hmmm… not that corporations would ever release toxic crap to the public or anything, but does anyone know what this shit is made of?

  22. I’ve gone through a few Frixions and they are indeed great (they erase completely and smoothly) but they don’t really sound much like this thing.

  23. Just like a pencil, but wrapped in plastic?!?! A whole bunch of plastic? Had you called it a liquid graphite temporally erasable pen, I might be able to buy it guilt free. Now I just think of it as a plastic pencil.

  24. To all the people who use pencils/charcoal to draw and are worried about smudging:

    spray the page with some hairspray after you’re finished. Voila: permanent.

  25. Erasermates were awful! Didn’t matter if you were a righty or a lefty. That shit smeared all over the page, on your hands, and (obviously it was the late 70’s early 80s) all over Member’s Only jackets. I’m telling you those damn pens leaked too! I have a long list of ruined Member’s Only jackets, OP shorts, and other such regalia from Erasermates. As a kid in elementary school I was obsessed with writing implements. When my dad gave me my own Cross pen & pencil set I thought I was going to burst. Every type of new pen or pencil that would come out I’d have to buy and try out. Erasermates sounded awesome until you actually used them. What an inkstained and smeared mess!

    I do look forward to this Sharpie though! Can’t wait to buy a bunch of these for my Dungeons & Dragons crew.

  26. To add to the Erasermate bitching: left-handed, and my grade-school gifted program REQUIRED you use erasable pen because I believe they thought it was more mature than using pencils. Made all my work looked like gifted shit.

  27. I think it would be nice… I prefer the feel of a pen in my hand to a pencil, and I write really hard and deep, so broken leads are always a problem. I’m not super crazy about it, but if I got one cheap, I’d probably use it as long as it’s as good as it says.

  28. I just received my “liquid pencil” in the mail yesterday. The writing quality is so bad that I’m sending it to the Sharpie Consumer Affairs address on the back to tell them I don’t want it. Check the reviews an Amazon. It’s a terrible product.

    1. It’s basically a rebadged Papermate Replay/Erasermate, since Sanford now owns both brands. The refill’s the same as I remember them from 1980. They haven’t got any better. I’m sending mine back.

  29. Picked one up at Office Depot today. It writes like the cheapest throw away pen you have ever used. Unless you hold it perfectly vertical the line is thin and inconsistent. Also the barrel giggles when the tip is extended. The ink does give the appearance of a pencil line. After about one hour the line is permanent not the 24 hours they claim. I am very disappointed in this pen. I expected more from Sharpie.

    1. I got one yesterday. I was liking it until my son notice if he rub his hand across what he wrote it rub off who need an eraser :(

  30. I went and bought this today, two packs of two, actually. I don’t see it getting cut off too much, but you do have to apply pressure. And it isn’t as smooth as it claims. If you look closely, there are little spots missing. I think this could be fixed if they made the tip just a bit thinner, it’s too round. Other than that, I like it.

  31. This was a horrible waste of 4 dollars. If you wanted any of the exciting new “graphite technology” to work, you needed to press as hard as you can into the paper, stopping occasionally to scribble really hard on your scratch page to get the graphite stuff flowing. The sharpie liquid pencil writes like a cheap pen that is almost completely out of ink.

  32. Erases nicely but the writing quality is VERY bad. It’s like writing with a pen that’s running out of ink. I’m surprised a company like Sharpie would even bring something with this poor writing quality to market. They must have done consumer product testing and recieved the same feedback.

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